Jay Messina is a world-class engineer/producer who is greatly respected by his peers. His discography includes classic albums by Aerosmith, Kiss, Miles Davis and Cheap Trick, to name a few.
Jay grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father played acoustic bass in a trio. At age eight, his father bought him a set of orchestra bells, and Jay has been having fun with music ever since. He graduated to playing vibes and played in bands throughout high school and for several more years after that.
In the mid sixties, Jay’s good friend and composer David Lucas offered him a job as a recording engineer. Jay, who wasn’t quite sure what an engineer did, trusted his friend and his own instinct and took the job for ‘food money’. Jay started his engineering career at Don Elliot’s studio. Don was a super-talented musician, singer, and composer.
Don had a one inch 8-track machine he had purchased from Les Paul. It was one of the very few in the world. This was the period when 2, 3 and 4 track was considered multi-track recording. Jay, very quickly, became the sole operator of Don’s studio. He learned enough in the next year and a half to get a job at the legendary A & R Studios as a mastering engineer.
Phil Ramone, one of the owners of A & R, graciously allowed the employees to use the facilities when they weren’t being used. Jay readily took advantage of this perk and spent most of his free time at the studio. He was fortunate enough to be friends with some of the most talented musicians in New York. Names like Mike Mainieri, The Brecker Brothers, Steve Gadd and Tony Levin just to name a few. Jay invited them to join him in the studio to record any new music they had written. It was a ‘win win’ for everybody. The musicians recorded their music, and Jay got lots of invaluable experience. It wasn’t long after that Jay started getting requests to record some of the highest profile bands in popular music.
In 1971, Jay made the move to “Record Plant” in New York. Record Plant was the hottest studio in town. This quickly became his new ‘home’ where he served as chief engineer for 15 years. Jay was consistently busy recording albums and stayed with Record Plant until he left in 1987. He’s since embarked on a very successful freelance career.
In 2005 Jay opened his own studio, West End Sound, where he mixes and masters national and international projects today. Anyone interested in having Jay mix their next project should contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.